Whether you want to take individual vet assistant courses to enhance your knowledge or are pursuing a certificate program in vet assisting, there are several things to research and consider when choosing vet assistant courses or a program. One thing to consider when trying to choose the best vet assistant courses is whether the course instructors are professionals in the field of veterinary medicine, such as veterinarians or veterinary technicians. Also, it is important to do some research into the accrediting body of the school or program to ensure that it is reputable.
Another important aspect to look at when choosing vet assistant courses is the cost. It can be a good idea to research vet assistant courses at several schools and then compare things such as cost and instruction to see which school will offer you the best education for your money. If you need help paying for vet assistant courses, find out the financial aid policies of the schools you are considering and whether they accept scholarships.
When looking at courses, consider whether they offer a good balance of the practical and theoretical. Coursework should include significant instruction working directly with animals. Even if you choose online courses, the vet assistant program should have a hands-on component. Good vet assistant programs will have either specific course time dedicated to hands-on work or will allow for on-the-job training time following the completion of classes or during school breaks. Also think about whether the vet assistant program you are interested in offers any help with job placement after courses have been completed.
If you already are working as a veterinary assistant and want to take individual courses to bolster your on-the-job training, look for schools that offer that option and don't expect you to pay for and complete the entire program. In some vet assistant programs, students are expected to take courses in a very specific order. Consider schools that offer more flexibility so you can pick and choose the courses you need.
If schedule flexibility is important, consider how the courses fit into your schedule. Online courses might work better for you than commuting to traditional classrooms. Online courses also are something to consider if your area doesn't have a traditional school with vet assistant classes. Some online programs will allow you to work at your own pace, which can be especially important if you also have a job or have other time-consuming obligations.